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mse1152's picture
mse1152

Last night I baked this bread for the first time. I started the biga on Thursday after dinner and made the final dough Friday around 5 p.m., finishing the bake around 9:15. The biga spent the night in the fridge (in a bowl covered with plastic wrap), and developed a skin. The skin seemed to get incorporated into the final dough alright, but next time, I'll wrap the biga in oiled plastic and zip it into a bag as well before refrigerating.

It's a soft bread with tight crumb. Since I've never made it before, I don't know if that's what Italian bread is supposed to be or not. Tastes pretty good though. I think it would be a good bread to make into individual sandwich-sized rolls.

I'm not yet able to post a photo here, so I'll include a link to my Webshots album:

http://tinyurl.com/ywlfrc

Sue

 

TinGull's picture
TinGull

 After about 2 1/2 weeks of love and care, my starter is officially alive and kickin'! I made a couple olive sourdough loaves today, since this is my girlfriends favorite, and wanted to use my sourdough starter. It looks delish! It just came out of the oven (still crackling as I took this picture) so I haven't cut into it yet. One of the reasons I LOVE making bread is to fill the entire house up with that aroma of wild yeast and flour. Mmmmmmmmm.....

 

 

I'll put up some pics after I cut into it. I heard on one of those Julia Child PBS videos that it's illegal in Italy to even sell bread when it's warm....how intense!

And the crumb

 

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

I spent all day on a long fermentation trying to duplicate bwraith's beautiful sourdough ciabatta. What I produced was the best tasting thing I've baked. On the down side the crumb is unremarkable again, proving I'm starting pretty low on the learning curve. My sourdough starter which has been dormant for months is now hyperactive as evidenced by this proof-

Sourdough ProofSourdough Proof

I think I overproofed. The dough was very soft, very puffy, very sticky!  I had to fold it some more to get it workable for shaping. Onto a cloche for final proof went the dough until I lost my nerve and moved the four ciabattas to oiled paper on a baking sheet. Envision a sticky mess of dough and cloth instead of tasty bread! To get a crunchy crust, I spritzed the loaves with water and steamed with a cup of water in a skillet. This recipe baked 18 minutes at 450 and still came out only a golden brown. Bwraith, how do you do it?

Sourdough Ciabatta #1Sourdough Ciabatta #1

Even if unremarkable in appearance, this bread won't last long. Its delicious!

It is day three for my rye and grapefruit juice starter and as Grandma Gracie would say, it is really going to town!

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Well I'm starting a self-directed course of study in bread making.  I'm taking inspiration from the products of the very accomplished bakers of The Fresh Loaf community and plotting a course to learn what they know-and-can-do in their kitchens. I plan to document my efforts in this space.

This week I have revived my tired and sluggish sourdough starter with two feedings at better ratios.  I'm happy that the starter doubled vigorously this morning in three or four hours.  It is day three for the rye and grapefruit gruel; patience required there.

Yesterday I baked two ciabatta recipes after preparing the preferments for each the night before. The first is a yeast leavened white that was very successful when I first made it last year.  I experimented by adding unrefreshed sourdough starter in place of the liquid to add flavor. My recipe calls for very little handling, just dividing, shaping and dimpling after the first rise. The bread baked up very moist and light with a gazillion small holes.  The flavor is so good; the sourdough really did the trick. I wonder, do the large holes come from a longer final proof? I've been afraid of letting it go too long and falling flat.

 Baking of 4-11-07Simple Ciabatta: Baking of 4-11-07

Next Ciabatta Integrale as shared by JMonkey. I followed his KA recipe and notes exactly with one exception. When I mixed all of the ingredients I felt the mix was too dry so I added two teaspoons of water before the autolyse.  The hand mixing worked fine for me and allowed me to determine when I thought the hydration was right. As promised, this dough really rises actively! I enjoyed learning the stretch-and-fold technique; that was new to me. My result is a really light and moist wheat bread that is much more like sandwich loaf than a chewy ciabatta. My husband will love it when he comes home because that is what he prefers!

Whole Wheat CiabattaWhole Wheat Ciabatta

I hope to refer back to these ciabattas once I have found my baker's mojo.  To end on a positive note; I haven't baked anything inedible for almost a year!

Thegreenbaker's picture
Thegreenbaker

Since my faith in my baking skills has come back I have been baking every 2 days or so.

 

I made a batch of rustic bread last night and it was soooooooo tasty. We couldnt get enough of it......needless to say we have almost finished the first loaf :)

Each time I bake I get more and more excited.!

 

heres a link to my flickr bread photo site.   

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7688602@N04/

 

So when I make Rustic bread, I add 3 tablespoons of Rice bran oil and 1/2 cup of semolina flour. (fine ground semolina really)

 

It adds to the taste and is AMAZING!

 

thegreenbaker.........one day I will be able to post pics properly. 

 

 

 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Sourdough Raisin Focaccia

Sourdough FocacciaSourdough Focaccia

Sourdough Raisin Focaccia (a)Sourdough Raisin Focaccia (a)

Sourdough Focaccia CrumbSourdough Focaccia Crumb 

My wife's favorite bread is without a doubt sourdough raisin focaccia. The recipe is loosely based on the BBA (Reinhart) "Poolish Focaccia", including his mention of raisin focaccia and a tradition in certain parts of Italy for "breakfast focaccias".

Many thanks to various contributors to this site as always. Photos of the process have been posted for this sourdough raisin focaccia and the sourdough ciabatta I made at the same time and mentioned recently in a previous blog entry. A spreadsheet is also posted showing weights in ounces or grams.

Starter:

  • 14 oz BBA style barm fed w/KA organic AP flour (1:1 by weight flour:water)

The day before this bread was baked, I took my "BBA style barm", a 100% hydration starter fed with KA Bread Flour, out of the refrigerator. I fed it 1:2:2 (starter:flour:water) three times over the course of the day at room temperature, which refreshed the starter and built enough starter for this recipe, the sourdough ciabatta I also made the next day, as well as some left over to return to storage in the refrigerator. The larger amounts were made by feeding with KA organic AP flour, to convert to KA organic AP flour, a choice of a slightly lower protein flour that should be good for irregular, large holes and artisan style bread.

Dough:

  • 14 oz 100% hydration starter using KA organic AP Flour
  • 13 oz KA organic AP Flour
  • 2 oz KA Rye Blend Flour
  • 2.5 oz olive oil
  • 10.5 oz water
  • 0.5 oz salt (14 grams)
  • A box of golden raisins (about 2.5 cups)

Autolyse:

Mix the flours and water together in a bowl (I used a dough hook for this). Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Mix:

Mix flours and water above with the 14 oz of starter, 0.5 oz salt, 2.5 oz olive oil, and mix for a couple of minutes - just long enough to thoroughly mix the starter and salt with the flour and water from the autolyse step. Add a box of golden raisins (about 2.5 cups). The dough should be quite "wet", meaning it will not clean the bottom or even much of the sides of the mixer bowl. It should be fairly sticky and already have a fair amount of gluten development. I realize I needed a little more water than I actually used (10 oz), so the recipe says 10.5 oz and is what I will use next time. As a result, the dough was a little too stiff and the crumb wasn't quite as open as I think it would be with the extra ounce of water.

Bulk Fermentation and Folding:

Make a fairly thick bed of flour on the counter about 12 inches square. Using a dough scraper, pour the dough out into the middle of the bed of flour. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then, fold the dough by flouring or wetting your hands, then grabbing one side of the dough and lifting and stretching it, folding it over itself like a letter. Do this for all 4 sides. Brush flour off the dough as you fold over the sides that were in contact with the bed of flour. You don't want to incorporate much flour into the dough as you fold. After folding, shape it gently back into a rectangle or square, spray it with a light coating of olive oil or some other oil spray, and dust very lightly with flour. Then cover it with plastic wrap, and drop a towel over it. If the dough seems a little stiff at this point, it unfortunately probably already doesn't have enough water in it. You can put it back in the mixer and add 1 oz of water and try again. Or, soldier on and adjust your water next time. Repeat the folds approximately every 45 minutes two more times. If the dough seems very resistant to stretching, only fold it from two directions instead of four. You don't want the dough to get really stiff from too much folding. The amount of folding you will need will be more if you have more water and less if you have less water. Note that even an ounce can make a very big difference in the consistency of the dough. After three folds, let the dough rise for another 1.5 to 2 hours, at which point, the dough should have doubled roughly in volume. Use the "poke test" to get a feel for how long to continue the bulk fermentation.

Shaping:

Line a standard (the ones that are about 17 inches long and 13 inches wide) baking sheet with parchment paper and spread about 1/4 cup of olive oil over the parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the sheet. Spread the dough out by dimpling it systematically with your finger tips, pressing down firmly into the dough with all ten fingertips, and slowly getting the dough to spread out in the pan. Don't stretch the dough, just dimple it by pressing into the dough vertically with your fingers. If necessary, wait 10 minutes for the gluten to relax, if it won't spread out enough to fill the pan at first. As you do the dimpling with your fingers, work about another 1/3 cup of olive oil into the top of the dough by spreading it over the top of the dough as you dimple away. Once the dough has  spread all the way out and nearly fills the corners, you can cover it with saran wrap.

Final Proof:

Let the dough rise for about 2.5 hours, until it is puffy and has increased significantly in volume. With this sourdough version it may not rise above the lip of the pan, but it should come close. If it rises unevenly, you can dimple the high sections again periodically to even out the height of the dough across the whole pan. I actually let this one rise almost 3 hours. It finally seemed to relax and rise around 2.5 hours, so I went ahead and tried baking it. As I mentioned before, the result wasn't quite as open of a crumb as I hoped, but it was fine - next time a little more water, and it will be better.

Prepare to Bake:

Preheat oven to 500F. Remove plastic wrap, and use your fingers to spread about 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt evenly over the dough. Don't use more than 3/4 tsp of salt, or it will come out too salty. Spread the salt with your fingers by holding the 3/4 tsp of salt in your palm and picking up pinches of salt and slowly spreading it over the dough. Again, it's important to get it spread evenly in just the right amount, and that is very difficult to do unless you measure out 3/4 tsp of kosher salt and then spread it in small pinches very evenly over the whole surface.

Bake:

Place pan in the oven and lower temperature to 450F. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the internal temperature is around 207F (I'm near sea level), rotating it after about 9 minutes. You can bake longer to get a darker, harder crust. Actually, I think this KA organic artisan AP flour may benefit from a little bit of added diastatic malted barley flour, as the breads I baked with this flour today were more pale than previous results with KA AP or KA Bread Flour combinations. I don't think I overproofed them, but maybe that's a factor. The focaccia should spring up from their "flattening" with your fingertips, such that not much evidence is left of the dimples you made with your fingers.

Cool:

Let bread completely cool, if you can stand to wait.

This bread is especially good for breakfast lightly toasted or heated with a little butter and/or honey. The mixture of salt, sourdough flavor, and the sweetness of the raisins is delicious.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Sourdough Ciabatta 

 Sourdough Ciabatta CrustSourdough Ciabatta Crust: Sourdough Ciabatta Crust

Sourdough Ciabatta CrumbSourdough Ciabatta Crumb

Sourdough Ciabatta Crumb (lengthwise slice)Sourdough Ciabatta Crumb (lengthwise slice)

Sourdough Ciabatta w/Olive OilSourdough Ciabatta w/Olive Oil

One of the favorite family breads seems to be ciabatta, and this sourdough version is clearly preferred (wolfed down) by my kids for its flavor. I've achieved a little better crust and crumb with yeasted versions, particularly the one in Maggie Glezer's "Artisan Baking", but the sourdough flavor is hard to beat, especially with salty grilled left over meats in sandwiches. The recipe is loosely based on the BBA (Reinhart) "Poolish Ciabatta", as well as incorporating ideas from Maggie Glezer's version in "Artisan Baking".

This is a work in progress, but I like the way this one turned out. The flavor is a little mild, which may mean I need to lengthen and/or retard the fermentation, or maybe use somewhat more ripe starter, an exercise for future attempts.

Many thanks to various contributors to this site as always, and especially in this case to Zolablue, who encouraged me to pay more attention to ciabatta with some just great photos and discussions about how to achieve better holes in ciabatta through hydration, proper handling, and flour choice, all of which were used here.

Photos of process have been posted for this ciabatta and a sourdough raisin focaccia I made at the same time. A spreadsheet is also posted showing weights in ounces or grams.

Starter:

  • 16 oz BBA style barm fed w/KA organic AP flour (1:1 by weight flour:water)

The day before this bread was baked, I took my "BBA style barm", a 100% hydration starter fed with KA Bread Flour, out of the refrigerator. I fed it 1:2:2 (starter:flour:water) three times over the course of the day at room temperature, which refreshed the starter and built enough starter for this recipe, the sourdough raisin focaccia I also made the next day, as well as some left over to return to storage in the refrigerator. The larger amounts were made by feeding with KA organic AP flour, to convert to KA organic AP flour, a choice of a slightly lower protein flour that should be good for irregular, large holes and artisan style bread.

Dough:

  • 16 oz 100% hydration starter using KA organic AP Flour
  • 15 oz KA organic AP Flour
  • 2 oz KA Rye Blend Flour
  • 12 oz water
  • 0.5 oz salt (14 grams)

Autolyse:

Mix the flours and water together in a bowl (I used a dough hook for this). Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Mix:

Mix flours and water above with the 16 oz of starter, 0.5 oz salt, and mix for a couple of minutes - just long enough to thoroughly mix the starter and salt with the flour and water from the autolyse step. The dough should be quite "wet", meaning it will not clean the bottom or even much of the sides of the mixer bowl. It should be fairly sticky and already have a fair amount of gluten development.

Bulk Fermentation and Folding: (about 4.5 hours)

Make a fairly thick bed of flour on the counter about 12 inches square. Using a dough scraper, pour the dough out into the middle of the bed of flour. Allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then, fold the dough by flouring or wetting your hands, then grabbing one side of the dough and lifting and stretching it, folding it over itself like a letter. Do this for all 4 sides. Brush flour off the dough as you fold over the sides that were in contact with the bed of flour. You don't want to incorporate much flour into the dough as you fold. After folding, shape it gently back into a rectangle or square, spray it with a light coating of olive oil or some other oil spray, and dust very lightly with flour. Then cover it with plastic wrap, and drop a towel over it. If the dough seems a little stiff at this point, it unfortunately probably already doesn't have enough water in it. You can put it back in the mixer and add 1 oz of water and try again. Or, soldier on and adjust your water next time. Repeat the folds approximately every 45 minutes two more times. If the dough seems very resistant to stretching, only fold it from two directions instead of four. You don't want the dough to get really stiff from too much folding. The amount of folding you will need will be more if you have more water and less if you have less water. Note that even an ounce can make a very big difference in the consistency of the dough. After three folds, let the dough rise for another 2.5 to 3 hours, at which point, the dough should have doubled roughly in volume. Use the "poke test" to get a feel for how long to continue the bulk fermentation.

Shaping:

Divide the dough into four pieces of equal size, roll them in the bed of flour to dust the cut ends, and let them rest a few minutes. To shape, take one of the four pieces, stretch it out and roll it or fold it over itself very gently. With ciabatta this amounts to a gently stretch and fold like a letter. You want to create some tension in the surface of the dough by folding it over itself that way, then if you place the dough folds down on a couche, it will seal up the seams. Use the couche to create folds for the ciabatta and then nestle the folds between supports, such as bags of flour or whatever system you may have similar to what you might do for baguettes.

Final Proof:

Let them rise in the couche for about 2.5 hours, until they are puffy and have increased significantly in volume.

Prepare to Bake:

Preheat oven to 500F (yes, you can probably do it without preheating, as mentioned elsewhere on the site, but it's not what I did this time). While that is going on, take each loaf out of the couche, gently stretch it in one direction by about double, lay it on a peel, maybe with parchment paper underneath, maybe sprinkled with corn meal or similar, and use your fingertips to flatten out the loaf. You can press down fairly firmly to feel the peel underneath. It sounds crazy, but the loaf will bounce back just fine in the oven if it is not overproofed. This step is important to avoid "separation of crust and crumb" or "one gigantic hole" instead of many holes. It also evens out the loaf so it has a nicer shape after baking.

Bake:

Place loaves in the oven and lower temperature to 450F. Bake for about 13 minutes, until the internal temperature is around 207F (I'm near sea level), rotating them after about 9 minutes. You can bake them longer to get a darker, harder crust. Actually, I think this KA organic artisan AP flour may benefit from a little bit of added diastatic malted barley flour, as the breads I baked with this flour today were more pale than previous results with KA AP or KA Bread Flour combinations. I don't think I overproofed them, but maybe that's a factor. The loaves should spring up from their "flattening" with your fingertips, such that not much evidence is left of the dimples you made with your fingers.

Cool:

Let bread completely cool, if you can stand to wait.

This bread is especially good for sandwiches, sliced in half and then sliced along the "flat" direction to open up like a hamburger bun. It is great for burgers, steak sandwiches, ham, or just with olive oil and pepper.

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

After many starts and stops in bread making, I have found a passle of information in the community of The Fresh Loaf.  In less than a week of perusing bakers postings, I have confirmed that my softer doughs do indeed perform better and for good reason.  I have figured out how to keep my sourdough alive and kicking and am inspired to grow another using rye flour and fresh grapefruit juice.  I've read through all of the baking lessons and chosen to start with the last lesson and see where that goes!

Genevieve Alice Pizzey's picture
Genevieve Alice...

Baker folk!

Yesterday i made my first sourdough bread, and it was dense and soggy, but also, amazingly,

DELICIOUS.

I made a starter in a similar way to my ginger beer starter, and of course made the mistake of adding sugar. i won"t do that this time. However, since i had not found this wonderful site at the time, and actually was inventing from scratch, it is amazing that i produced anything at all. I set the doughh to rise in the open-door oven on "defrost'.  This was a bit too warm, so i put it in the sink with the bowl resting in hot water. That seemed to do the trick. Where else could i find sa warm spot/ And for how long/

Talk to me. GP 

Butler's picture
Butler

Steam Meat Bun
Steam Meat Bun (Rou Bao)
Over the weekend, I decided to experiment with my sourdough for a steam bun recipe. Having done a little research on "steam bun", there were recipes which use "old dough". So I decide to twist the recipe by incorporating firm sourdough starter. The result was really good. Just remember to use cake flour in the making of the firm sourdough starter and the final dough. And you will obtain the soft texture like those in the Dim Sum restaurant.

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